Picture this

San Francisco skyline

We got underway at the crack of dawn… A tardy dawn actually, due to a late sleeping oversight.

According to HQ, our mission was to infiltrate San Francisco and gather as much info as possible. The emphasis was to be on tall buildings and infrastructure.

At this time of the year, the city is packed with tourists and we decided to dress accordingly to better blend in. We also left all compromising documents (if caught, only name, rank and serial number) behind, and casually boarded the Larkspur ferry at 9:30 am.

We originally planned to enter the city by kayak under the cover of darkness but one of our team members nixed the idea. He said that he could not do this because he was terrified of sharks and that he had heard that many Great Whites were lurking in the Bay.
Due to our rigorous training, it looked a little bit implausible but it was too late to find another teammate.

Aboard the USS Sonoma, we mingled and blended flawlessly with the day-trippers; we absolutely didn’t arise any undue suspicion. The third member of our team, while being relatively young, was of great help. John (not his real name) is a real looker and goes by the name of “Gueule d’ange” (Babyface). He is not very loquacious, but he looks like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. He will win over anybody with a smile.

We landed in San Francisco around 10:30 am and went to work at once. Smartphones and cameras started clicking instantly. If you move away from a beautiful city (or a pretty girl), you forget how truly attractive it is and fall back under the spell the minute you come back.

On this sunny day, the city of Saint Francis looked gorgeous and women all over were on parade. Many wore shorts, tight jeans and yoga pants (the prevalent trend) for the benefit of appreciative onlookers. In contrast, a lonely figure wearing a black Burka (head to toes) stood out for its incongruity. I am pretty sure that her “guardian” was too busy ogling the girls to pay any attention to his charge.

Our team closely inspected (and photographed) the Hyatt Regency. We rode the elevator to the top and took many pictures. This ought to satisfy the shadowy figures of our organization.

Around noon we stopped at a sidewalk café for lunch. Prices were overinflated but it was expected. Touring is like courting a swanky girl: you know that it is going to cost you.

At 12:30 pm we slipped back in a ferry going back to Larkspur. The ride was short; thirty minutes instead of sixty minutes for our initial ride. Mission accomplished, without any casualty!

It is not without reason that we (like many elite teams) are known as “les travailleurs de l’ombre”.


HQ will be happy. Our mission went flawlessly and we brought back a lot of pictures. I wouldn’t be surprised to be handsomely rewarded for this dangerous mission.


PS: By special derogation, I have been authorized to show you some of the pictures.

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